The Washington Post ran a major article today regarding Creigh Deeds' failure to find support among Virginia's job creators and business leaders. The article notes:
State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee for Virginia governor, is struggling to connect with some business leaders, an influential voting bloc that has been key to Democratic victories in recent elections.The latest poll has McDonnell 50, Deeds 43.
With major backing from unions, conflicting promises on taxes and no details on how to fix the state's mounting transportation crisis, Deeds is not swaying some business-minded voters who are jittery about the economy and who say they don't like what they see as Deeds's uncertain positions on a host of critical state and federal issues.
Doubts about Deeds's business support have pervaded the campaign this week, as has the perception that his Republican opponent, Robert F. McDonnell, has more persuasively made the case that he will create jobs, keep taxes low and protect Virginia's right-to-work laws.
On Thursday, both candidates appealed directly to one of the state's largest business groups at a debate in Tysons Corner sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. Many said afterward that Deeds failed to connect with the business-minded voters who helped elect the last two Democratic governors, Mark Warner and Timothy M. Kaine.
"He never addressed the issue of 'What is your plan,' " said C. Daniel Clemente, a real estate investor from McLean who supported Warner in 2001 but said he left Thursday's debate feeling "very sorry" for Deeds. " 'I'm for education' -- what's your plan? 'I'm for transportation. I'm going to bring everybody together.' To do what?" ...
... Still, Deeds has stumbled with a series of ambiguous responses to questions about his positions on whether he would raise taxes (yes for transportation, no for general services); whether he supports federal cap and trade legislation to reduce carbon emissions (yes in principle, but not the current congressional proposal); whether he supports ending the secret ballot for union elections (he says the congressional bill is not going anywhere, but he supports Virginia's right to work laws); and whether he supports health-care reform (it depends upon the details).
As a result of such positions, business groups such as the Virginia chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Virginia Association of Realtors, the Virginia Farm Bureau and the Virginia Credit Union League have endorsed McDonnell...
Meanwhile, the YouTube video of an indecisive Creigh Deeds after the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce debate earlier this week on the subject of taxes and whether to raise them has been making the rounds.
Bob McDonnell for Governor 2009